Estate of Dani Homrich v Selective Insurance Company et al
Roger Smith and Beth Andrews succeeded in obtaining summary disposition in the Oakland County Circuit Court on claims by the estate of a deceased pedestrian who was struck and killed while crossing a darkened street on a moonless morning more than one hour before dawn. Mrs. Homrich was an exceptionally small 68 year old adult who rose very early each morning for her daily walk. Except for her green shoes and red hat, she was otherwise dressed in very dark, non‑reflective clothing (including black gloves) and carried no flashlight or other item which would have rendered her visible to drivers. Roger represented a defendant driver who was on his way to work. A slight rise in the road and large trash bins placed at the curb apparently obscured the vision of both driver and pedestrian and prevented them from seeing each other until the last moment. The driver testified that he was unable to see her until she suddenly darted out from his right side to cross the road and was struck by his vehicle. Another driver traveling behind him also failed to see her as she lay on the road, and struck her again in what was probably the fatal blow. Plaintiff responded to our motion by presenting an extensive affidavit by expert Daniel Lee detailing the many ways that, in his opinion, our client driver had been negligent in the operation of his vehicle, however eyewitnesses as well as the Oakland County Sheriff deputy who investigated the accident all opined that there was no way that the first driver had time to avoid the collision. Oakland County Circuit Judge Phyllis McMillen granted Roger and Beth’s motion for summary disposition, holding as a matter of law that the pedestrian plaintiff had been more than 50% at fault in causing this accident and her injuries.